Thursday, October 23, 2014

End Hunger Campaign

This past Saturday morning our family woke up early to go and take part in the annual End Hunger campaign.  I am fortunate to work for an animal hospital that likes to give back to the community, and many of us were able to attend.  The best part was that our whole family could help, even 6 year old Mason.  We basically scooped ingredients into bags and then weighed them and sealed them before putting them in boxes.  In the 2 hours were were there we packaged over 25000 bags.  These bags are going to the Appalacian region of Kentucky.  Mason's favorite job was helping to heat seal the bags, Cameron liked weighing them, and Gavin loved scooping the rice.  So many times during the process the kids mentioned how much fun they were having.  It just goes to show you serving others can be even more fun than Chuck E Cheese to a kid.  Cameron especially was touched by this experience and has said several times that he can't wait to do it again.


This past weekend we took advantage of the weather and the changing leaves and took a trip up to Skyline drive.  The trees were almost at their peak and the views were breathtaking.  We found a picnic area to roast hot dogs and s'mores and played in the leaves with Fergus.  The "mountains" are one of our favorite things about Virginia, they sure are prettiest in the fall.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bull Run Mountain

This summer we did a lot of hiking up Bull Run Mountain because the weather was so mild.  It is about a 5 mile hike roundtrip with tremendous views at the top.  We took some of the Wilkinsons and also went with friends, and Cameron and I even did it by ourselves once.  Fergus came when he was just a bitty thing and made it pretty far before we had to carry him.  The kids do great as long as they have someone new to talk to to keep their mind off how steep and long it is.  And playing in the creek on the way down gives them something to look forward to!  And we always see a turtle or two!  Can't wait to go up when the leaves are changing!

First Lost Tooth

All last year in Kindergarten Mason watched longingly as all his little friends lost their first teeth and had a visit from the tooth fairy.  His teacher had a chart to show how many kids were losing teeth and I'm pretty sure Mason was the only one who didn't lose any.  It was with great delight that he told me he had a wiggly tooth and even more delight that he bit into an apply to try to break it free.  It worked!  He has been carrying the money around for days that the tooth fairy left him.  Now the one next to it is loose and he wiggles it every chance her gets!  Fergus also lost a tooth the same day and we kept it to leave under his pillow for a treat :)

Hungry Mother

One of my favorite traditions as a child was heading up t Granny and Pop Pop's house every December and sometimes in the summer as well for a mini family reunion.  My mother and her brother would come with their families and we would exchange gifts at Christmastime, but more importantly we would see the cousins that otherwise we would never have really known.  Granny would have it no matter what, even when our families swelled so big that we could not comfortably fit into their home, she still cooked for weeks beforehand in preparation for the big get together.  It did not matter if her house was perfectly clean or if she would have ample seating, she just wanted us to get together.  I wish I had more of that attitude.  It's getting together that counts and family is everything.

This was the second year that my sisters Lisa and Kristin and their families met our at Hungry Mother State Park.  It's mid-way between northern Virginia and Nashville in the middle of nowhere with plenty of trails, a lake and really nice cabins that each of our families can rent.  Best of all, my kids couldn't wait to get there and see their cousins.  They played outside even though the first day it was a bit rainy, they played outside even though the next day was quite chilly, they played outside with the cousins that they only see a few times a year and they loved every second of it.  And the adults got together and played too.  We are making Hungry Mother a tradition- something that our kids will look back on with fond memories just as I do with Granny's house.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Marvel Universe Live!

Jeremy surprised Mason with a date to Marvel Universe Live at the patriot Center.  This kid is really into Super Heroes so this was perfect for him!  Jeremy tried to trick him by telling him he wanted him to go on errands with him but he threw a giant tantrum because he didn't want to go.  Once I told him it was his date then he calmed down, but he does not love surprises!  All the Marvel Heroes acted out a plot where they have to save the city from various villains.  Mason loved every minute, but he was quick to tell me it wasn't really real, they were just guys in costumes :).  Jeremy bought him a $20 sword that broke the very next day...  And they went to Wendy's from frosty's afterwards.  Hopefully it was a night to remember!

Friday, September 12, 2014

New School Year

Everyone in our family was looking forward to school starting- except mom.  This summer just flew by too fast and we didn't get to much of what we wanted to do.  But I was glad the kids were excited, and hoped that my nervousness for Cameron to start middle school did not show.  Cameron has to get up earlier now and on the first day he shot out of bed with joy all over his face.  I prayed it would last.  He gets to ride his bike to school this year and actually has to do that, walk or get a ride fro us since the school is pretty close by.  He could not wait to get to ride with his friends.  I felt like I held my breath all day waiting for him to come home.  Since he leaves earlier he also gets home earlier and I cherish that time we have together.  He had just as big of a smile on his face after school as he did when it started.  he says he loves the independence of being able to walk to his classes on his own and sit wherever he wants for lunch.  Thankfully, he has friends in most of his classes, but I have been impressed that he wants to do chess club this year, something that his buddies will not be doing.  I'm glad he knows who he is and what he wants to do.  And he loves his teachers, especially language arts which is such a blessing.

Gavin and Mason started the day off on a positive note as well.  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and I think Mason was ready over an hour before the bus came.  He has Mrs. Brown this year who we are thrilled with and Gavin has Mrs. Horvath who seems very sweet as well.  His friend Charlie is in his class and he has already made friends with another new little boy that just moved here.  They are both so social and outgoing I have no doubt that they will do just fine.  After school everyone was wiped out!  Mason almost fell asleep at dinner- we went to Qdobas, one of their favorites.  I hope we can keep the positive momentum going!